Winter Essentials for a Car Survival Kit

Winter Essentials for a Car Survival Kit Bear Creek Towing EvergreenAs the experts in roadside assistance in Evergreen, Colorado, Bear Creek Towing has seen how winter essentials for a car survival kit can truly make a difference during an emergency situation. We’ve helped out both types of drivers – those who are prepared for severe winter weather and those who are not. We can definitively say that keeping a few important items packed away in your vehicle can save you from a lot of distress.

Winter in Colorado means black ice, snowstorms, and low visibility. These conditions can wreak havoc on your vehicle’s mechanics and unfortunately, there is a higher chance of accidents and breakdowns. If you do get stranded, these winter essentials for a car survival kit will make you more capable of handling the situation with ease.

Tow Straps – Parking for just 15 minutes is enough time for a quick snowfall or a patch of ice to form and make it impossible to move your vehicle independently. While our towing services are just a call away, having tow straps in your car will make it easy for a good Samaritan to help you out of a sticky situation. Don’t rely on somebody else to have them.

Jumper Cables – Similar to the tow straps, you cannot expect other drivers to provide jumper cables. Keep a quality set in your car in case the frigid weather causes your battery to die.

Mobile Phone and Charger – Most people never leave home without their phone nowadays. If you are taking long trips or driving on rural roads, don’t forget to take a phone charger that plugs into the cigarette lighter or a power bank. If you break down, calling for roadside assistance will be your number one priority. The phone number for a local company like Bear Creek Towing should be kept in the car and saved on your phone.

Fuel Container – If you simply run out of fuel and need to venture out on foot to the nearest gas station, you will need something to carry the fuel. A collapsible container will not take up much space in the trunk and is one of the key winter essentials for a car survival kit

Extra Clothing – Leaving your vehicle in winter to search for help is generally not a good idea. If there is no other option, you will be safer if you have proper footwear and warm, waterproof clothing. Always keep extra boots, gloves and a hat in your car during winter. Some blankets will keep you and your passenger comfortable if you have to wait in the vehicle for a long time.

Sand and a Shovel – A compact shovel may be enough to dig yourself out of an embankment of snow. Spreading sand or even kitty litter under your tires can then give extra traction when you attempt to free yourself. If all else fails, do not wait to call for a tow truck. The longer you wait, the more your car may be buried, making it difficult to find you.

Apart from these winter essentials for a car survival kit, it’s always a good idea to keep some bottled water, snacks, a flashlight and a basic first aid kit in your vehicle, no matter the season. Be prepared to spend a bit of time in your car waiting for assistance, especially during severe weather. Bear Creek Towing assists with roadside emergencies in Evergreen, West Golden, Conifer and the surrounding mountain areas. Make sure to keep our number in your vehicle this winter. Call 303-674-6609 any time, day or night for a fast response.

Where to See the Leaves Change in Colorado

Where to See the Leaves Change in Colorado bear creek towing evergreen, coloradoAt Bear Creek Towing, we’re very familiar with where to see the leaves change in Colorado this time of year. And if you live in Denver, you have a lot of choices if you want to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage. Within a two-hour drive from the city, you can explore 5 distinct climate zones, each with its own peak leaf transition period, according to its elevation.

If you’d like to start planning a weekend road trip over the next few weeks, read on to learn where to see the leaves change in Colorado. If your fall travels (or any other trips) bring you to Evergreen, Conifer, West Golden, or the surrounding mountain areas, and you find yourself with car trouble, we’re here to help you out with friendly, emergency towing services.

Mid to Late September

The Aspens first start to turn from shades of green to gold at the highest altitudes. During the month of September, the best sites to see beautiful leaves are up in the mountains at Guanella Pass, with a peak elevation of 11,670 feet, and in the Rocky Mountain National Park. There, you can view aspen groves surrounding Bear Lake and enjoy the great outdoors in all of its glory.

Late September to Mid October

During these weeks, forests between 9,000 and 7,000 feet will put on the best show. An hour’s drive from Denver are the towns of Silver Plume and Georgetown, conveniently connected by the Georgetown Loop Railroad. Riding this vintage steam locomotive is a fun weekend activity any time of year, but during the fall, it offers spectacular views of the changing landscape.

The Month of October

Lower elevation parks between 6,000 and 8,000 feet will display their brightest colors during October. Golden Gate Canyon State Park, less than an hour from Denver in the foothills, boasts one of the best views of the Rocky Mountains, as well as plenty of lower elevation Aspen groves. Our own Evergreen, Colorado defies its name and puts on a decent show of color in October. Hike Three Sisters park or drive the Lariat Loop Scenic Byway for the best views.

October to Mid-November

Late fall brings out the best in the trees of Denver metro. Denver’s 200 parks are filled with a great variety of color changing trees and many of them connected by scenic bike trails. Try one of the most popular, Cherry Creek Bike Trail, or challenge yourself with the more technically difficult Colorado Trail, for an active and scenic day of adventure. Some of the most spectacular parks for watching the leaves turn are City Park, Washington Park, and Sloan’s Lake.

Now that you know where to see the leaves change in Colorado, there’s plenty of great reasons to get out there with your friends or family. Just remember to take precautions when driving on rural roads – make sure you have extra clothes, blankets, food and emergency supplies in your vehicle in case you break down in a remote area. If you find yourself in a sticky situation, Bear Creek Towing offers 24-hour emergency roadside assistance and towing. Just give us a call.

Top Causes of Car Breakdowns

Top Causes of Car BreakdownsHere at Bear Creek Towing in Evergreen, we know that getting stranded on an unfamiliar road is never ideal. Learning about the top causes of car breakdowns can help you avoid this unpleasant experience, starting with regular maintenance checks that will help you identify and repair potential issues before hitting the open road.

Based on what we’ve encountered while providing reliable towing and emergency roadside services is that, apart from car accidents, the following are the top causes of car breakdowns.

Running Out of Gas

This happens most often when drivers are in an unfamiliar area and forget to keep their tank full. If you do not know where the next gas station is, then it’s better to be safe than sorry. Don’t let your gas tank get too low, it’s just not worth the risk of running out of fuel in the middle of nowhere!

Engine

One of the most common culprits for a complete breakdown is engine trouble. Most drivers at some point have seen a forlorn looking car pulled over to the side of the road, smoke billowing from beneath the hood. This is usually due to an overheated engine, which can be caused by coolant leak or a failure in the radiator. If your car overheats, it may start again once cooled, but your best bet is to always call us for a tow to ensure no further damage to your engine.

Lockouts

Getting locked out of your car is incredibly frustrating, especially if you are forced to call for assistance and pay a locksmith just to open your car. One good prevention method for this situation is to have an extra set of keys made and stored at home or in your workplace. This way, if you lose your keys, or accidentally lock them inside your car, you will have an alternative option.

Flat Tires

A flat tire is more likely to occur when they are worn down or at the wrong pressure. Avoid this issue by regularly checking your tire pressure when the tires are cold and keeping it properly adjusted. Have your tires rotated and balanced to ensure the treads are evenly worn and less likely to blow out. Now, if you find yourself with a flat here in Evergreen, Conifer, West Golden or the surrounding mountain areas, you’re welcome to give us a call. We’ll help with your spare or give you a tow if needed.

Transmission

Failures in the transmission can be difficult to spot, but they do often contribute to complete vehicle breakdowns. If you feel a jerking or slipping sensation when putting your automatic transmission into gear, remember to get your transmission fluid checked without delay to avoid potential issues.

Battery

Every battery has a finite lifespan. This lifespan can be shortened if you drive in extremely hot or cold conditions. Have your battery checked regularly, and if you notice dim or flickering lights while driving, get your electrical system checked out, too. A dead battery or alternator is inconvenient but preventable in most cases.

Now that you know the top causes of car breakdowns, it should be easier to avoid one. For drivers in the Evergreen and surrounding mountain areas experiencing roadside emergencies, Bear Creek Towing is here to help. We offer 24/7 roadside assistance, towing and vehicle recovery – give us a call!

Fun Things to Do in Evergreen, Colorado

Fun Things to Do in Evergreen, ColoradoVisitors and residents looking for fun things to do in Evergreen, Colorado are spoiled with choices. Bear Creek Towing operates out of Evergreen, and we pride ourselves on knowing the area very well. Our team has put together a list of our favorite family-friendly activities. From enjoying arts and culture to exploring the great outdoors, our town has plenty of attractions right on its doorstep. Now is the perfect time to take advantage of school vacation and the good weather to get out and about.

The town of Evergreen is host to a number of historic sites. First up on our list is the Hiwan Homestead Museum, which offers a guided tour through its 25 rooms of exhibits. Visitors can view Native American artwork and follow the story of Evergreen’s history right up to modern day. The Big E Game Ranch is another site offering a glimpse into the past. The ranch allows an up-close view of American bison, elk, and deer. Visitors can imagine a time when these majestic creatures roamed wild across the open plains.

Evergreen’s parks are a huge draw both in the summer and the winter. Evergreen Lake Park offers scenic walking trails and the opportunity to fish, canoe and kayak. Music lovers can enjoy the annual open-air Summer Concert Series. When temperatures drop, the lake freezes over, converting into an enormous skating rink. Those brave enough to take to the ice can warm themselves up afterward at the welcoming stone fireplace of Evergreen Lake Lodge.

Everybody can get creative at the Center for the Arts Evergreen. There are a variety of classes and workshops covering figure drawing, painting, and ceramics for both adults and children. The center showcases work by local artists and is host to a good mix of cultural events, concerts, and lectures throughout the year.

The Three Sisters Park is home to Evergreen Mountain and is a huge draw for extreme sports lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. With 15 miles of mountain biking trails, riders can cruise past many stunning rock formations and expansive views of the hills below. Hikers can reach the summit of Evergreen Mountain in a six-mile round-trip with 1,100 feet of elevation. Other local outdoor activities include the Evergreen Rodeo, a two-day event filled with family friendly activities. Beginning with a parade through downtown, the fun continues with a community pancake breakfast and traditional rodeo competitions.

With all of these fun things to do in Evergreen, Colorado, keeping the family entertained will be easy this summer and even into winter. Remember that Bear Creek Towing offers damage-free, towing services to vehicles across Evergreen, West Golden, Conifer and the surrounding mountain areas. If you find yourself with a broken-down vehicle or stuck on a difficult road, there is no need to worry. Our team responds to calls 24/7. Our services also include trailer and boat towing, emergency roadside assistance and classic car transport. You can depend on our family owned business for affordable and friendly service.

What to Do Next if Your Car Breaks Down

What to Do Next if Your Car Breaks DownA vehicle breakdown in the middle of your journey is never fun. Here at Bear Creek Towing, we want to remind you what to do next if your car breaks down. Whether you are a novice driver or an experienced road tripper, there’s no harm in reminding yourself of the steps to take when your car decides to give you trouble. With temperatures climbing, we are seeing more cases of failing radiators and overheating engines. It could be as simple as a flat tire or an empty gas tank, but once you are stranded on the side of the road, it can start to feel like an overwhelming situation.

First, you need to get your car off the road to avoid getting hit by other vehicles. As soon as you see a warning light, or feel your car start to fail, gradually slow down. Turn your hazard lights on to warn drivers behind you and pull off the road safely. Once you are out of the way of traffic, put your car into park, pull up the emergency brake and turn your wheels to face away from the road. You don’t want your car to roll back into traffic at any point, accidentally, so it’s best to take these precautions.

Calling for help is the second step on our list of what to do next if your car breaks down. Try to always have a fully charged mobile phone in the car with you at all times. They are by far the easiest mode of communication. Contact Bear Creek Towing for roadside service, AAA, or your auto insurance provider if they offer emergency roadside assistance as part of your policy. Give the details of your car and its location and ask for their approximate time of arrival. It’s a good idea also to call a family member or nearby friend to update them on your situation.

Once you have called for help, there’s nothing much you can do apart from playing the waiting game. Try to make it clear to other drivers from a distance that your car is broken down. This is especially important if you are on the side of a highway with heavy traffic and speeding vehicles. Keep your hazard lights on and raise the hood of your car. If you have road flares or an emergency triangle, place them about 50 feet from your car so that the oncoming traffic will have plenty of warning.

Once you have made yourself as safe as possible, it is best to wait inside the car and not start wandering down the highway. Pedestrian fatalities are all too common, and the tow truck or roadside service professional won’t be able to do anything with your vehicle if you are not present. Sit tight and don’t be tempted to get out and start tinkering with the engine yourself. If you’ve never repaired your car before or changed a tire by yourself, now is not the time to make the first attempt.

By remembering these on tips what to do next if your car breaks down, you should have a better driving experience. For roadside assistance in Evergreen, Conifer, West Golden, and the surrounding mountain areas, you can depend on Bear Creek Towing for fast and friendly service. Keep our number in your car and saved in your phone for peace of mind. We’re available 24/7 to give you a hand.

Summer Driving Safety Tips

Summer Driving Safety TipsAs temperatures rise, road trips, summer vacations and fun in the sun come to mind. Bear Creek Towing offers these summer driving safety tips to help you make the most of your vehicle in the coming months. It’s important to remember that summer brings unique driving conditions and potential hazards. Follow our advice to enjoy driving in the summer and lower your risk of issues.

Many drivers take their cars to a mechanic before the start of winter for a tune-up. This is a smart move, but if your vehicle hasn’t received a general maintenance check since that time, it may be a good idea to give it another once-over. An auto technician will check your tires for wear and ensure all systems are operating well. During the hotter months, your car’s cooling system has to work harder to prevent your engine from overheating, so it’s especially important to inspect the cooling system and ensure your radiator has sufficient coolant. Skip this step, and you could find yourself having to request tow service

When driving in the summer, remember that you are more likely to share the road with cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians. Be extra vigilant in leaving plenty of space between your vehicle and motorcycles and bikes. Remember that they can stop much more quickly than a typical vehicle. School vacations also mean children will be playing outside and invading residential streets with scooters, skateboards and stray frisbees or balls. Take care to drive slowly in residential areas and don’t expect perfect road awareness from kids.

Taking a road trip or driving out of state can be fun for all the family in the summertime. Remember to stop every couple of hours to stretch your legs, visit the restroom, get a snack and rehydrate. This is an excellent opportunity for the driver to take a rest, or reply to any text messages or phone calls they may have received while behind the wheel. To prevent excessive drowsiness and the associated risks, you should share the burden by alternating drivers regularly. If this is not possible, make sure your driver has the option to rest when they need to.

A child locked in a car on a sunny day can suffer heatstroke in less than 10 minutes. Their smaller bodies can heat up 3-5 times faster than an adult, and they may not be able to communicate their distress. To prevent a tragic accident, never leave children, disabled adults, or pets in a parked car, even with the AC on or the window open. Make sure you check the front and back of your vehicle for children playing “hide and seek” before you lock it and walk away. Finally, never leave your car keys where a child could reach them and end up accidentally hurting themselves.

Following these summer driving safety tips should keep you and your passengers happy and protected over the coming months. If you do suffer a breakdown or get into trouble on the road during the summer, remember that Bear Creek Towing offers complete roadside assistance around the Denver area. You can contact us for help around the clock, every day of the year.

Don’t Try and Escape with Your Car From a Tow Truck

Don't Try and Escape with Your Car From a Tow TruckAlthough it seems obvious, here at Bear Creek Towing, we offer this reminder: don’t try and escape with your car from a tow truck. After hearing reports of various attempts by drivers to commandeer their seized vehicles and flee the scene, we have realized that this does happen. Unfortunately, even those who manage to do it successfully end up with some serious damage to their car.

According to a report by the Huffington Post, a driver in Orlando, Florida made a futile attempt to reclaim his SUV after it had already been mounted on a tow truck. Despite aggressively ramming his vehicle forward and backward repeatedly, it seems like the only thing he managed to do was attract the attention of passers-by in the public parking lot. What the driver may not have realized, is that after a vehicle is placed onto the flatbed of a tow truck, it is secured with hoist slings, to prevent it from rolling off. Any attempt to drive it off the truck after it has been secured will just result in a frustrating struggle and inevitable damage to your vehicle.

Apart from being a reckless thing to do, if you succeed in driving your car off a tow truck, as this Chicago driver did, you can expect a harsh impact to your vehicle. As severe as a minor collision, it will probably cause considerable damage to your suspension system, knock your wheels out of alignment and possibly burst your tires, not to mention the possibility of giving you whiplash. If you will end up having to pay out of pocket to fix all those damages, why not just accept the fine or penalty you have received in the first place? At least you won’t have to call for a tow to pick up your broken-down vehicle.

What makes this phenomenon even more interesting, is knowing that the authorities already have the identification of the driver and vehicle registration by the time these escape attempts happen. Drivers are not only committing a crime by taking back their vehicles, they are making it very easy for the authorities to track them down and prosecute them for that offense. Trying to escape from a tow truck really is not worth all the hassle when you think about it.

Lastly, driving your vehicle aggressively off a tow truck can be dangerous, both to the driver and any passengers as well as innocent bystanders. Motorists and pedestrians are not expecting any vehicles to drop from a height off a tow truck. If your car has been picked up from an area with heavy traffic flow, it is likely that you could cause an accident or seriously hurt someone by pulling this risky maneuver.

We know it is frustrating to have your car impounded, but please, don’t try and escape with your car from a tow truck! For more information about safe use of tow trucks or to inquire about our range of professional services, do not hesitate to contact Bear Creek Towing.

The Basics of Towing Services

The Basics of Towing ServicesDuring the harsh mountain winters, many vehicles end up getting snowed in or stuck on bad roads. That’s why Bear Creek Towing knows the basics of towing services and offers fast and professional services to the community of Evergreen Colorado and the surrounding mountain areas.

Today, we’re going to share the basics of towing services so that if you ever need to transport a trailer or boat, or help another driver out of a sticky situation, you will know how to do it safely.

First, calculate the weight of the load you intend to tow and make sure your vehicle can handle it. For campers and boats designed for towing, you can often find the total weight of the load, including the trailer weight, documented on a metal plate or sticker fixed to the trailer. Similarly, a cargo trailer will have its weight printed on an information label. You need to add the weight of the empty trailer to the estimated weight of the objects you intend to carry within the trailer to calculate the total payload.

With your payload calculated, now it is time to check your vehicle’s ID plate or sticker, usually located near the driver’s door. This plate specifies the details of your vehicle, such as tire pressure range and maximum payload or towing weight. Some other terms frequently used include GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) and Tare Weight. The Tare Weight of your vehicle is simply the weight of the vehicle itself, without any luggage, passengers or extra load to tow. The GVWR is the maximum combined load that your vehicle can safely operate while carrying.

If you subtract your vehicle’s Tare Weight from the GVWR, you will have the maximum additional weight you can put on your vehicle. This extra weight includes the payload you intend to tow as well as the weight of passengers, luggage, and fuel. You must ensure that the payload you intend to pull does not put the total weight of the vehicle over the GVWR. If it does, you will risk raising the front end of your vehicle, putting too much strain on the rear brakes and potentially losing control of the vehicle.

Once you have done the math on your towing weights, it is time to check your trailer is safely hitched up to your vehicle. Make sure the hitch and ball you are using have an appropriate load capacity for the weight you are towing. Check the pressure of the tires on your vehicle and trailer before starting your journey. It is also important to check that your trailer’s brake lights and turn signals are working.

Towing an additional load means you have to adapt your driving behavior drastically. Accelerating and decelerating must be done much slower than usual, and turns cannot be taken sharply. If you would prefer a professional take care of your towing needs, do not hesitate to contact Bear Creek Towing. We can offer the basics of towing services as well as roadside assistance, emergency vehicle recovery and commercial towing.

Want to learn more? Check this out.

Winter Driving Safety Tips

Winter Driving Safety TipsBear Creek Towing always experiences a massive increase in calls from stranded drivers over the winter months. To help you avoid accidents and dangerous situations, we have made a list of our top 6 winter driving safety tips. Check below and ask yourself how many you are already following this winter.

  1. Be prepared for all situations. Driving in winter comes with the risk of getting snowed in, breaking down, and getting stuck waiting for hours in freezing temperatures. Keep your vehicle stocked with warm clothes, tools, and emergency supplies. You can refer to our winter driving checklist previously published.
  1. Ensure your tires are suitable for driving in severe conditions. Before it starts snowing, you should have a professional check the treads of your tires. You might need to replace some tires or have them rotated if the treads have worn down. For extremely icy conditions you should use tire chains. Learn how to put them on yourself and practice doing it before you actually need to. When the time comes to use them, you can avoid an hour-long struggle with the instruction manual and frostbitten fingers.
  2. Lower your speed. Speed limits are set for ideal the driving conditions. When there is snow, hail or ice on the road, everybody should be driving cautiously and well below the limit. Leave ample space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. Decreasing your speed during winter may cause your commute to take longer. Just factor this into your daily routine and leave 15 minutes earlier.
  3. Avoid driving in terrible weather. That’s right, just don’t drive. If you feel that your vehicle is not capable of handling dangerous road conditions, just don’t do it. Keep your fridge stocked up, put off unnecessary journeys and notify your workplace. Most employers are very understanding of these situations and will make allowances, or let you work from home if possible.
  4. Don’t use cruise control. Although a wonderful invention, cruise control does not consider the variables of winter driving conditions. Using cruise control on snowy or icy roads can put you at risk of losing control and causing an accident.
  5. Improve your braking During and after heavy snowfall, the best approach is to pump the brakes to slow down gently. On icy roads, prepare for your braking distance to double. Slow down before stop signs and traffic lights well ahead of time and ease on the brakes. Remember, it is not always possible to see ice on the road, but if the temperature is close to freezing, you should presume there is ice. If you start to skid, first release the gas pedal, then turn into the direction of the skid without slamming on the brakes.

Follow these winter driving safety tips to lower your risk of accidents. Trust your own judgment, and if conditions worsen while you are driving, pull over to wait out the worst of it. Remember, if you do get stranded or experience an accident, our team at Bear Creek Towing offers a 24/7 roadside recovery and towing service. Give us a call, and we’ll help you out.

What Do I Do If I’m Stuck in My Car During a Blizzard

What Do I Do If I’m Stuck in My Car During a BlizzardBlizzards can develop without warning, putting Colorado motorists at risk for being stranded. In fact, at Bear Creek Towing, we take a number of calls from drivers who are stuck in hazardous, winter weather conditions. So, before you find yourself in a situation like this, it’s best to already know the answer a very important question, what do I do if I’m stuck in my car during a blizzard? 

How to Get Yourself Out

In less extreme cases, drivers can often dig themselves out and continue on. However, only attempt to dig when the snow has completely stopped. Trying to shovel snow while it’s still falling will just result in tiring yourself out. During Colorado’s winter months, remember to keep a shovel, ice scraper, and a bag of sand or kitty litter in your vehicle. Start by digging snow out from around your wheels, and then use the sand or kitty litter to help with tire traction.

How to Get Yourself Help

Only leave your car and go for help if you can see a nearby building. Otherwise, it is best to stay in your car. If you have a mobile phone (and you should always have one when driving in bad weather), call Bear Creek Towing for assistance. While you wait, place reflector triangles in front of and behind your vehicle and keep your signal lights on to alert other drivers of your situation and location. If you have signal flares, these can be useful, especially in more remote areas.

How to Keep Yourself Safe

Remove any snow build-up from around your exhaust pipe to prevent dangerous fumes from getting trapped in the car. If there is continuous heavy snowfall, check the exhaust pipe every 20 minutes. In winter, it is always a good idea to have extra layers of warm clothing in the car, as well as boots, gloves, a sleeping bag, food and a metal container for melting snow. If you are waiting for assistance in an area with passing traffic, it is a good idea to keep your seat-belt fastened. Your stationary vehicle could still be hit by another driver, especially in severe weather conditions.

If you expect to be waiting a long time for help, it’s important to keep yourself warm. You can do this by layering up, doing simple exercises every 30 minutes and staying hydrated. Melt snow in any metal or plastic containers you have on hand, and speed up the process by placing the containers within your layers of clothes. Conserve gas by turning the car off, but turn it on regularly enough to keep it heated.

Here in Colorado, winter can be beautiful yet dangerous. And knowing what do I do if I’m stuck in my car during a blizzard can make all the difference in an emergency situation. Remember the tips we’ve given you here and be sure to call Bear Creek Towing for 24/7 roadside assistance and towing. If you’re stuck in West Golden, Conifer, Evergreen or the surrounding mountain areas, we can get a professional out to your location as quickly as possible. Be safe out there!